Developing the team
Published: 29 March, 2016
Developing the team? Case studies on new roles to release capacity in general practice
We hear talk of new roles being introduced and different ways of working tried out. You may be asking yourself – “What would work well in our practice?”
With releasing capacity in general practice high up the list of priorities, practices say that it is often difficult to learn about promising innovations that could benefit them and their patients. Colleagues may be concerned that implementing change is difficult or risky.
With this in mind, you may want to learn from some of the case studies being compiled to illustrate the ten High Impact Actions being promoted to address workload pressures. You can also follow and join the discussions around approaches to releasing time including active signposting and reducing DNAs. The goal is to help the practice serve patients better through releasing staff time and, of course, many of these innovations also offer a direct improvement for the patient.
Several case studies relate to High Impact Action number 4 –ways to Develop the Team:-
- Practice–based paramedics
GP practices in South Kent commissioned a 7-day acute home visiting service provided by paramedic practitioners who liaise with the patient’s own practice.
- Medical assistants
Medical assistants can help GPs work smarter eg. clerical staff process letters at Wincanton Health Centre, and also in Brighton and Hove where standard protocols enable clerical staff to take an active role. In London, GPs consulting by ‘phone for AT Medics practices are supported by a clinical buddy – a specially trained member of the clerical team.
- Physio First
Patients contacting a practice in West Wakefieldwith a new musculoskeletal problem are offered an appointment directly with the physio without needing to consult a GP through the Physio First scheme.
Ten high impact actions
Building on evidence gathered through the Making Time report and innovations by schemes working through the Prime Minister’s GP Access Fund, ten areas have been identified where action can be taken to release capacity in GP practices.
We all know that there are no magic bullets. However, experience shows that in each area, there are several specific changes which could be implemented to make a difference. It’s clear that clinicians and managers alike recognise these as areas on which some local practices have already been working. So, this action-oriented approach elicits a sense of cautious optimism.
There are successes to share, and learning within the system on which to build more widely.
Sue Lacey Bryant
Workforce Development Tutor, Thames Valley
Health Education England
Last updated: 21 May, 2018